This is a copy of my thread in Tech - Commercials, which of course was not visible to the outside world.
Post by rlubikey on Jun 21, 2011 at 1:45pm Continued from the recent thread in Sales & Wants.
Picked up the Atlas last Sunday. Hoped the springs might have sagged slightly in 52-years - not a chance! It's 2.040-metres high - slightly higher than the book 2.025-metres. Even letting the tyres down wouldn't limbo it in to the garage! Off to my emergency backup secret storage location.
There's about 20cm between the head and the driver's seat for the manifold and carb. However, it is quite low compared to the adjacent cover, so canting the manifold downwards slightly would get the clean air plenum under the cover.
More photos here
Condition is solid. The back-end is really quite good - a little bit of welding near the back door. The front isn't so pretty - it's been welded in several places where water has got in around the door and windscreen seals. But I reckon it's all MOT standard. There is some filler I hadn't noticed before on the body near the bottom of the passenger door to make it look nice. The chassis is pretty solid at the back and plates welded where required at the front - where water had dripped through the floor I think. I imagine it may have been stored under cover, all except the front.
The doors and boxes of bits & spares are all present btw.
I bet you're all thinking "That Richard's got bored with his Atlas already." WRONG! But I've been multitasking between the Atlas, my Spitfire and of course, working for a living
The Spit is almost finished and is looking more shiny underneath than on top - that's workshop dust for you!
But you don't want to know about mere toy cars here at SMC. You want a progress report on the Atlas.
The side lights have all gone in. I used new rubbers for the L488 (front indicators) and L594 (front sidelights) both courtesy of Ebay. These are repro parts and the longer L488 rubbers are more supple than the L594 - easier to install the lens and ring. No worries at the rear either with the bigger L581 and L637 indicators & tail/brake lights. New crimps all round, alles gut! Pictures? Ooops, sorry
Then I looked at the horn/indicator switch in the steering wheel centre. The ring which moves with the steering was jammed and the indicator didn't feel right in one direction. Time to strip! It's made of phenolic resin with a filler of some sort - very similar to Bakelite. Sadly it's been cleaned with something to aggressive - an abrasive perhaps - and has lost its sheen.
Inside, there's an alloy slip-ring which rides on the resin moulding and keys into the steering wheel ring. This had jammed - possibly because the resin had swollen - with moisture perhaps? I freed it up for now but it it will need further attention - a *very* fine grit and a lubricant which won't attack the phenolic resin. Any ideas?
One of the little self-cancel "tumblers" had been assembled the wrong way round. I'm not the first person to delve inside since it left the factory! Reassemble and it all feels much better. Connect the column cable and the indicators spring into life - right indicates left and left, right ;D but at least they work - so does the horn. Pictures?
Now to the road wheels - these are pretty poor but would clean up OK. The original tyres would have been 6.40"x13" cross plies - the modern equivalent is 155/80R13 radials. Looking around I see there are very few tyres with more than 82 load rating - if we're going to use this as a serious van then this needs attention! A comment by Dave at Canley's suggests that a 14" wheel is available and a little research reveals these are Mk1 Stag steels. Stags had Rostyle trims, but the hub caps should fit. A little work on Ebay and ...
The 14" Stag rims will take 175/65R14 and there's LOTS more choice of tyres in load ratings up to 90. That's more like it. The offset is the same as the stock rims and they juuuuuust clear the suspension at full lock. I could adjust the endstops if that becomes an issue.
Whilst investigating the wheels, I discovered a little GOTCHA! about the Atlas. If you jack up the back axle, you ... CAN'T TAKE THE WHEEL ORRRRF The fared in tyre won't go past the waistline seem. You need to jack it up by the chassis to remove the rear wheel - and you need a hell of a tall jack for the chassis. 18" to be precise!
I presume these girder jacks are all pretty similar - about 3/4" square spigot, right?
One more thing. One of the front wheel nuts has jammed on the stud aaaaannnnnd - you've guessed, the stud is rotating in the hub. BUGGER! I'm going to have to cut the nut off. Unless you guys have a better idea?
If you wanted to stay with 13 inch wheels what about 165 - 13 trailer tyres these will take the greater loading unless you are fussy about what's written on them. This will keep the gearing rightish and the access under the wheel arches.
Post by herald948 on Jul 29, 2011 at 12:28am Actually, I was thinking that the closest modern equivalent of a 6.40 x 13 crossply would be at least a 175R13 or even a 185R13 radial, both in size (diameter and width) and possibly in load rating? Perhaps not the most popular size(s) nowadays, but certainly far more suitable for a vehicle the size of an Atlas than a 155, I would think.
Post by graummm on Jul 29, 2011 at 7:08pm MAXMILER 165 R 13 C - LT - 8 Ply with a load rating of 670 Kg 175 R 13 C - LT - 8 Ply with a load rating of 730 Kg These load ratings are nearly double the same size car tyre. And readily available. And you can keep the original wheels. There other makes of tyres available in these sizes but they must be 8 Ply.
Post by rlubikey on Jul 31, 2011 at 11:26am Thanks for that. I've now learnt that 6.40" x 25.4 DOESN'T equal 155mm, it's 164mm [throws away mental calculator and henceforth uses electronic one] and that these cross-plies were 90 section, not 80 so they're taller than originally thought - about 24.5" diameter. I don't want to lower the gearing any more - it's bad enough with that 6.66 diff. (work of the devil?). I can pull away in 2nd quite comfortably - UN-LOADED! 185/80R13 will give pretty much the same gearing, or 175/80R14 ~ 165/80R14 on the 14" wheels.
However, the priority now is to remove the wheel nut and replace that stud! Any ideas before I do something really stoopid?
Post by rlubikey on Jul 31, 2011 at 11:38am I've just looked for the wheel stud - part number 100869 (I LOVE parts catalogues!) and found it on Rimmer's web site.
Presumably if I remove the other 3 studs, I can just unscrew the problem nut & stud until it comes away from the hub, right? If this works then some grips on the back of the stud should trick the do. Will try this next time I'm at my secret Atlas workshop.
Post by Nick Favell on Aug 1, 2011 at 12:54pm If I remember right, 185/13 tyres only went onto Sierra estates and a caravan I used to have some years back, so were never a common tyre size - this makes them difficult to get hold of now and quite pricey even when there were Sierra estates were more commonly seen on the road!
Post by rlubikey on Aug 2, 2011 at 11:50am graummm, what does the "C" in /13C mean? Caravan? (hence low speed rating) Commercial? I've been looking at modern tyres and the ones with the highest load ratings often have "van" or "commercial" or sometimes "reinforced" in the name.
The stud came out as predicted. Now I've got the nut still seized on the stud ... with a wheel in the middle!
Post by graummm on Aug 2, 2011 at 5:59pm Yes 175 R 13 C Commercial 8 Ply rating. All the information you require is written on the side wall. Max Loading 730 Kg Max Pressure 65 psi And the speed rating These tyres are commonly used on trailers as very few light vans use this size for this weight. Stud. Drill through the side of the nut in several places and split the nut. ??
Post by rlubikey on Aug 3, 2011 at 9:30am Thanks for the info.
Stud just turned in the mole grips so put a vice on the back - that kept slipping so G-clamped vice to back of wheel ... aaaaannnd ... CRACK! the nut came free! Really annoyed with myself for forcing a nadgered nut onto a good stud in an attempt to "clear" the thread.
Post by rlubikey on Oct 27, 2011 at 9:34pm A little more progress with the Atlas.
I decided to get the Stag wheels professionally blasted & powder coated by Chingford's and they did a nice job. A slightly grey/antique shade of silver, very similar to what Triumph were using in the 60's & 70's. Then a set of tyres.
I decided on 175/70R14 as they were nearly the same rolling radius as the 165/80R13 on the old wheels. Even these were smaller than the 165/90R13 crossplies which would have been originally fitted. These JUUUUUUST go under the arches when you jack the rear up then let the suspension hang down (Thanks for the tip, Mark). But I may have the rear arches rolled to make it easier to change the wheels.
I've got a Land Rover floor-mounted dip switch and fitted that using the original as a base. The Landie part is much smaller and fits above floor level, making the wires somewhat prone to wandering feet. A little diecast box will be needed to protect the contacts.
A numberplate lamp was sourced from Ebay - a Jap. motorbike part. Nearly identical but without the water trap carefully designed into the Lucas original! It's hidden up under the rear valance so won't be visible.